The Child Development Institute was established in 1987 to develop programs for early childhood and elementary school teachers, administrators, child development professionals, parents and the community at large. Through the Empowering Teachers Program, The Learning Child Series, conferences, lectures, and occasional papers, we provide a progressive perspective on child development and education. In this perspective, the child is viewed as an individual in the social context, actively engaged in constructing knowledge through interactions with other people and the physical environment. We believe that the child's educational experience should encompass social, emotional, and imaginative aspects of life in concert with intellectual development. Further, we are concerned that schools and other institutions be developed as communities that attend to the interests and needs of children from diverse backgrounds.
The activities of the Child Development Institute, while developed primarily as outreach programs, enhance the educational experience of undergraduate and graduate students on campus. CDI staff and the Faculty Advisory Committee work cooperatively with the College's Early Childhood Center, psychology faculty and graduate programs in Child Development and the Art of Teaching. A Professional Advisory Board provides consultation and support for various projects.